RFP - 2018 Solarize Massachusetts Plus Lowell Installer

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), in partnership with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), is requesting proposals from solar photovoltaic (PV) installers to participate in the 2018 Solarize Massachusetts Plus Lowell Program, which will drive community adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) and air source heat pump projects through group purchasing model that includes a tailored community-based marketing effort within the selected Massachusetts communities.

MassCEC seeks proposals from installers that can provide residential and small-scale commercial solar PV installations under both direct purchase and third-party ownership models, and one or more installers that can provide residential and, if available, small-scale commercial air source heat pump technology installations.  Quality of the Installer proposal, proposed equipment, proposed pricing, ability to partner with the Community, previous performance providing similar services, installation practices, and reference checks will be factors in the selection process.

Responses to this RFP must be received by MassCEC no later than 4:59pm on July 24, 2018. Only complete, timely responses will be considered. Responses to this RFP must be submitted electronically to solarize@masscec.com2018 Solarize Massachusetts Plus Lowell– Installer Proposal” must appear in the email subject line

Please submit all questions to the Solarize Massachusetts Team, at solarize@masscec.com no later than 4:59 pm on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. “2018 Solarize Mass Plus Lowell RFP – Installer Question” must appear in the email subject line. Responses to submitted questions, and other frequently asked questions, will be posted by Thursday, July 12, 2018 on MassCEC’s website

2018 Solarize Mass Plus Lowell - Installer Request for Proposals

Attachment B – Solarize Mass General Metrics Template

Attachment C - Proposal Checklist and Application Form

Attachment D - Pricing, Cost Adders and Equipment Form

Attachment E – Abridged Proposal Checklist and Application form (ASHP only bids)

Community Marketing Proposal


Questions and Answers - Posted 7.12.18

If we do not have pre-formed partnerships with installers of the other technology, would we be able to submit a proposal for solar photovoltaics only?

Answer: Yes. As part of this RFP installers of each technology will submit separate proposals. Although not required, installers have the option to clarify as part of their proposal if they have pre-formed partnerships with an Installer or installers of the other technology. As part of the proposal, installers will also be requested to provide their recommendations on best practices for partnering with an Installer of another technology, including methods for collaboration and lead sharing.

If an Installer offers both technologies as part of its in-house services, they may submit one proposal that includes both technologies. Additionally, multiple installers of the same technology may elect to apply as a partnership, but will still be partnered with an Installer of the second technology as part of the Program

Installers can apply in the following ways:

  • Solar PV only
    • May denote a pre-existing partnership for consideration, but should not form a partnership for application
  • ASHP only
    • May denote a pre-existing partnership for consideration, but should not form a partnership for application
  • Both (if offer both in-house)

Do you have a limit as to the quantity of resumes & licenses you would like to review?

Answer: We recognize that every employee is critical to each company’s customer service trajectory.  However, in the interest of a timely review process, we recommend limiting resumes and license to the key members of the proposed team that will either play a critical program management, liaison, or customer facing role. It is valuable for a community to get a sense of who they will be working with during the sign-up period of the program. Additionally, installers are welcome to include resumes and licenses of key individuals who may be managing installation processes in the community territory after the sign-up period has concluded. However, resumes aren’t needed for the full installation crew and operations staff.

We would like to indicate partnerships other than ASHPs as a part of our application. Where should this be indicated?

Answer: An installer proposal should list any partners in Section 3 and then elaborate on the partnership in Section 6 Installer Team Members and Partners, and clarify any benefits it may offer to the proposal and the community campaign.

Can you further define “salespeople”?  Is your definition of salespeople solely the staff that visits the customer’s home?

Answer: For the purposes of this RFP, installers should consider “salespeople” to be anyone participating in a virtual or in-home sales consultation. If an Installer wants to further define the amount of bandwidth they are bringing to a campaign, they may add a column and specifically define the role of the FTE, for example: [Company] will dedicate 3 part-time staff members specifically for attending community events. OR [Company]’s 3 full-time salespeople will also share the responsibility of attending community events.

Do we need to stick to a strict $/W pricing structure, or will you allow a fixed base cost with an additional $/W price as a pricing structure?

Answer: For data and programmatic consistency, applications should propose a $/W structure for the fixed discounted price. The adder proposal sheet may then be used for accounting for additional costs or contingencies.

Do we need to provide equipment specification sheets?

Answer: Since most equipment specification sheets are readily available via internet search, they are not required. However, if you find that the specification sheets for a specific piece of equipment you are bidding is not easily found online, please provide them.

Where applicable, may installers expand response lengths in proportion with the number of companies involved in the bid? For example, the Executive Summary and Company Information lists a maximum of 2 pages. Can this be expanded to four pages if there were two companies bidding together, six pages if there are three companies bidding, etc.?

Answer: Yes, for a group response each group may be allotted the respective amount of spacing that a single applicant would have for sections that are company specific, such as Executive Summary and Company Information. A group of 3 could therefore be allotted 6 total pages for this section and other sections similar. With this being said, concise proposals are encouraged. 

Do you have a sense of the number of potential residents who may participate as part of this program?

Answer: For a sense of what potential numbers of participants may be, please visit http://www.masscec.com/solarize-mass-program-results to review the range of initial interest contacts and contracts signed for all communities that have participated in previous Solarize Mass programs. You can also review the community outreach plan to get a sense of the intended outreach efforts that would occur as part of the program.

Could you further clarify the selection criteria item “Demonstration of innovative concepts?

Answer: In response to the RFP at minimum all applicants must provide pricing based on competitive (discounted) fixed pricing. Although not required, demonstration of innovative concepts is an opportunity for Applicants to offer creative ideas for additional customer offerings or an incentive based on hitting a reach goal.  As a couple of examples, an Applicant may offer their own financing option for residential customers. Alternately, in addition to the reduced pricing, the installer could propose an additional incentive if a combined kW amount is reached. Responses creatively addressing this criterion will be viewed favorably by the Community, as they intend to use a community based kW goal as a marketing and motivating concept benefiting the Community and Applicant alike.